This paper will discuss the great professional field of agriculture. The discourse of the agricultural field contains a vast amount of information ranging from the common mathematical terms used as well as the forms of language used in the agriculture field. In the paper it will discuss the great history of the agricultural field and how it developed and progressed to where it is now. Some of the communication skills that a person needs in the agricultural field are strong persuasive skills, leadership, and problem solving. These skills are necessary for the survival in the agricultural field. The style manual guide used within the agricultural field is APA, this is the style of writing all agricultural professionals must follow in order to have proper publications within the agricultural field.
DISCOURSE OF AGRICULTURAL MANAGEMENT
The discourse of the agricultural management is a vast area of common knowledge. First off, people who are involved in the agricultural field have a common understanding of the terms used for both crop production and livestock production. Some of the common terms used in these areas are the terms used to identify the male and female animals living on the operation. “There are different names for animals depending upon the age of the animal. Some people use the word pigs for younger animas and hogs for older animals (Lewis, 2004, pg. 1).”
For crop production, professionals know how to describe the common diseases and weeds that affect the crops grown the area, such as root rot in sugar beets or aphids in soybeans. If a persons intends to share a common ground with the experts on these problems such as the farmer you need to pronounce the terminology right and not use the vast scientific names for all of the crops or livestock problems.
When individuals want to stand as a creditable person in the agricultural field they need to follow the general ethics placed down by the producers. When a researcher come out and tells the producers that a new product such as a new hybrid of corn is going to give them twice the yield, they are not following the unwritten ethics laid down by producers. When the produces hear of these claims, they become aggravated because this is unattainable and gives false hopes to produces. The other big negative factor that relates to ethics and giving false hopes is when people hear these claims and believe it when they are not actively involved in that particular field of research. This happens a lot with farmers and their landlords with the current issues of high crop prices. Currently some people claiming to be experts in production agriculture step out and say that farmers are making more money than ever before upon hearing this landlords analyze raising the rent of their land. The true experts in the agriculture field such as agronomists and farmers know that this is not the case; this is because of all the inputs have over doubled or even tripled over the last year. This gets to the point that the discourse of finances in the agricultural field is not looking at the gross income first but rather the net profit, and the cash on hand needed for the production of the crop to see how financially stable the operation is.
The Sale of Agricultural Products
There is a broad range of discourse for the unit of sale in the agricultural field. “Some of the ways are how certain products are sold, like wheat and soybeans are sold by the bushel, sunflowers are sold by the hundred weight. Larger high yielding crops such as sugar beets and potatoes are sold per ton (Schwab, 2000).” Livestock on the other hand is allowed to be marketed in two different ways; the first is by the head or per animal. The other is by the hundred weights this is the choice of marketing for a kill operation like a slaughter house or butcher shops. Since it is the amount of meat they’re after instead of quality of animal.
The quality standards put forth by the buyer for the product being marketing also have certain standards everyone has to live by. This is to protect the end user and make sure nobody finds loopholes in the marketing system. Some of these quality standards are the moisture content of the grain and the highest vomitoxin content of wheat and barley. Some certain elevators will dock the producers eighty cents per bushel for every point below fourteen percent protein in wheat (West Central, 2008). Individuals involved in the production and marketing of North American commodities knows these standards by heart and set their standards above these margins to ensure that they achieve the highest possible quality and profitability.
This leads into the discourse of the basic units used by all agricultural professionals for measurement of land. Here in the United States as well as Canada the unit for measurement of land is the acre which is 43,560 feet squared. This measurement is then added up to make sections of land which is 640 acres, a half section is 320, and a quarter is 160. Land is almost broken up into these parcels to be sold; this however does not include the tillable acres. (Roth & Field, 1991) People know that the size of the fields goes by the tillable acres to find this agriculturalist subtract the acreage of anything that the farmer has to farm around.
Learning the Discourse of Agriculture
To be literate in the discourse of the agricultural field the people involved must be involved in one of the many areas of agriculture. Some of the ways are in the production, marketing, or research all of the different areas of agriculture understand the key points of the other areas of agriculture in order to keep the lines of communication open.
This in turn leads to the publishing of agricultural material, when an individual in the agricultural field publishes information, whether it is a new tillage machine or a new hybrid of corn the article is written in an understanding manor from beginning to end. This means that the author informs the reader of the ways that the product or crop was studied this means that the author lists how much nitrogen is laid down before the crop was planted, and the tillage practices that were used the year before. This information is highly creditable for these are all factors that have a limiting factor on how well the crop or item will perform. People in the agricultural field know that great progress can not be made without great sacrifices if there is going to be twice as much corn raised per acre then there needs to be twice as much money laid down to produce that crop.
The more involved people are in the agricultural field the more creditable they are going to be. The most creatable persons to listen to are professors who also farm, or who have farmed. They are creditable because they know the ways to improve the overall plant quality or soil fertility but then they put the aspect of economics into the picture. The whole point of a farmer producing crops is making money, this is why some ways of farming may produce the highest yield but do not profit the most. This leads to why some researchers are saying that no till is the way to be going. This has certain problems however that limit its advancement but through published agricultural articles and peer to peer research from creditable people involved in the no till field. People might come to a common on this new situation in the near future.
People are able to go about learning the discourse of the agricultural field by job shadowing a professional in the agricultural field. The best profession to shadow to learn about the discourse would be an agronomist; agronomists use the terminology in their language and mathematical equations. The general public should get to know the discourse of the agricultural field since it affects everyone in the world. Everybody needs to eat and keep up on the new topics that come up with the food they eat. The general public needs to understand the terminology to understand what the experts are saying.
The common format for the discourse of the agricultural field is APA style, and articles that are to be published in newspapers and magazines almost always come from a creditable source. What makes it a creditable source is if the person is actively involved in the agricultural field and has been for some time. They also must be involved in the area of the agricultural field they are talking about. Such as if they are a corn farmer it would be unethical for a corn farmer to publish an article on the production of cotton.
The discourse of the agricultural field is a vast and broad area the main areas of the discourse go back to the roots of agriculture which is the production. People must understand the discourse of production agriculture before people involved can even attempt to understand the discourse of the many branches of agriculture.
HISTORY OF AGRICULTUREURAL PROFESSION
History of Agriculture
The history of the agricultural profession dates way back in time when people were only hunters and gatherers. Ancient humans then realized that they could cultivate the crops that they wanted instead of going out and finding where they grow naturally to harvest them on the spot. This was the very beginning of modern day agriculture. Today I’m going to take a little about how far the innovation of agriculture has come and share some of the great steps forward in agriculture that brought us to where it is today. Some of these inventions are the cotton gin, steel plows, mechanical reaper, Round Up Technology, and Global Positioning Systems.
The Use of Livestock
Today agriculture is thriving and new technologies have been leading the way into the new century. Some of these machines are the rotary combine, tractor, conventional tillage machines and embryo transplanting in livestock. The great inventions of the past led up to and set paths for the modern day farming equipment. Ancient pioneers had to work their field by hand using simple hoes made from stone or cast iron. This was very hard work and helped pioneers come up with the first big step forward in agriculture which was the use of power provided by animals. The first power from animals came from oxen our bulls, these strong creatures were strapped to a plow and tilled up the land producing large quantities of food for both humans as well as the domesticated farm animals. The use of farm animals allowed for fewer workers in the fields growing crops and more people out expanding territories and raising children. Not only were domesticated for the use of labor but they were also domesticated for meat and milk. Humans were able to collect milk from the livestock as a food source; this source was high in energy and also help build on human’s internal defensive system. When the animals were too old to perform work they were butchered for meat and the hide kept for warmth.
Discovery of Plant Nutrients
Over the thousands of years humans have found ways of producing more and more food on less amounts of land. Over the years since hunters and gatherers humans have discovered that plants needed nutrients to grow healthy, this was discovered by observing that plants grew much better in areas where animal and human waste had been discarded. This simple act greatly improved the cleanliness of settlements and provided an abundance of food over the previous practices of farming. Sir Albert Howard was a pioneer who greatly under stood this importance and he described it in his book An Agricultural Testament the concept that was to become central to organic farming, “the importance of utilizing available waste materials to build and maintain soil fertility and humus content. According to what he called the law of return, he strongly advocated the recycling of all organic waste materials, including sewage sludge, back to farmland.” (Howard, 2008)
Invention of Irrigation
Just like nutrients plants must have water, thousands of years ago humans set up irrigation systems and started bringing the water needed for plants too the fields. This made it possible for dry farmland to become highly abundant in fresh crops by using the virgin soil that wasn’t farmable before to start to grow high quality food.
Introducing Crop Rotations
The last farming practice that came out to improve the overall health and yields of crops was the use of crop rotations. One who describes it best is Keith R. Baldwin “farmers in ancient cultures as diverse as those of China, Greece, and Rome shared a common understanding about crop rotations. They learned from experience that growing the same crop year after year on the same piece of land resulted in low yields, and that they could dramatically increase productivity on the land by cultivating a sequence of crops over several seasons. They came to understand how crop rotations combined with such practices as cover crops and green manures, enhanced soil organic matter, and fertility” (Baldwin, 2007).
There has been countless inventions thought history that helped bring production agriculture to where it is today. One of the first inventions that revolutionized farming was John Deere’s steel plow. In the great plains of Illinois farmers were having trouble plowing the soil because the soil was so heavy that it would stick to the moldboards instead of furrow or simply flip the soil over. John Deere came up with an idea of having a polished steel blade that would allow for the soil to clean itself off of the plow. (Laiken, 2006) This invention revolutionized farming because the original cast iron plows from New England were not suited for the heavy Great Plains soils and now with the invention of John Deere’s plow farming in the new western states could thrive and become a highly mechanized farming area. A little bit about the great inventor of John Deere was that
he was born inn Rutland, Vermont on February 7, 1804 and raised in nearby Middlebury. He was just 4 years old when his father was lost at sea and was then raised solely by his mother. John Deere’s family lived at poverty level leaving him completely educated at the simplest level. After John Deere was married and had a family he embarked on a trip out to Illinois to be a blacksmith and make his fortune. Soon upon arriving he heard the tails of struggle from the recently settled New England farmers about their plows and how they would not work in these new soil types. Soon after John Deere was at a local sawmill and he spotted a broken saw blade in the corner of building and asked if he could have it. John Deere took it back to his blacksmiths shop and within days he turned out the lifesaving plow for the Midwestern farmers. Within months John Deere had thousands of orders for new plows and needed to expand his workshop. John Deere turned out to have the starting of the longest lasting agricultural line of equipment ever.” (Bauer, 2006)
Great Inventions of the Past
The next invention in history that had a drastic change in agriculture was the invention of the mechanical reaper by Cyrus McCormick. Before this invention farmers had to gather grain by hand and tie it by hand into bundles then bring it by hand to the barn to be thrashed by hand. This new reaper would cut and bundle the grain all in one step eliminating the hard labor involved in gathering the grain. This invention was one of the very fist steps to the original invention of the combine which is widely recognized as an agricultural icon. According to the Shenandoah Valley Agricultural Research Center “Cyrus McCormick’s success was partly due to his mechanical inventiveness. But he also was a pioneer in business techniques: easy credit to enable farmers to pay for machines from increased harvests; written performance guarantees; and advertising to convince farmers to buy his reaper. He helped make farmers mechanically minded and willing to try new ideas. That willingness, in turn, made American farmers the most efficient in the world.”
One of the biggest inventions for the Sothern states was the cotton gin invented by Eli Whitney in 1793. Before this invention farmer and workers had to hand pick each piece of cotton cleaning the seed from every cotton ball. This was a huge bottle neck in the cotton farming industry. Eli Whitney rapidly picked up the pace of the cotton harvesting operation, making farmer capable of farming more and more acres. This was a great invention according to the African slaves as well, since most cotton was grown on plantations powered by slaves. The instance day of picking cotton seed did a number on the fingers of the workers and was extremely tiring.
One of the later inventions of agricultural history was the first invention of the Round Up herbicide by the agricultural company Monsanto. Before this product came out onto the market producers had to scout their fields looking for every kind of weed in the field, then choose a selection of chemicals that they believed would kill the range of weeds growing in that field. This was difficult since every chemical on the market was only effective on a small range of weeds and on overdose of chemical could kill your crops or even hurt their crops under normal dose. With the invention of Round Up ready crops famers only needed to apply one chemical to most of their crops they grow. This is because Round Up is a non selective pesticide that kills every plant that it comes in contact with, with Round Up ready crops the crops themselves were resistant to the chemical and do not die upon being sprayed only every other weed or grass that was growing out in the field would. Round Up today is a hot selling agricultural product and a lot of farmers would be lost with out it. Monsanto is the current owner of Round Up technologies and it was a range of technicians that put the technology together.
The most recent invention that is still in advancement today is the wide rage of products in the precision agriculture field of Global Positioning Systems. Global Positioning Systems have made great strides in the last ten years and have only been around for about twelve years. Global Positioning Systems were invented by the United States Military for tracking enemy troop movements and incoming missiles. Later when this technology was released to the public, private companies put this technology to the test by designing systems of flashing lights in tractors that could guide farmers across field limiting the amount of skips and overlaps. Later this invention was hooked up to computer systems and the tractors were then driving themselves back and forth across the fields. This had a great impact on the amount of work farmers could get done in a day this is because it greatly reduced fatigue and reduced the time it took farmers to get there planting rows lined up straight. Upon this invention it also struck the invention of other great precision agricultural equipment such as variable rate fertilizer and planting equipment. This made it possible for farmers that live in poor soil condition areas to make a profit on their land. This was do to the variable rate application making to farmer able to apply exactly what was needed to the field in the spots it needed, when a field had a wide range of soil types the exact needs for that soil type could be met.
Important Members of Success
Along with the revolutionary inventors of the past there have been politicians that have contributed to the great success of agricultural past and present. The first president that has contributed to the success of agriculture was Abraham Lincoln when he introduced the first homestead act of 1862. According to Ruth Gregory “President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act on May 20, 1862. The act provided settlers with 160 acres of surveyed public land after payment of a filing fee and five years of continuous residence. Designed to spur Western migration, and increase settlements in the West.” It was this act that ultimately made the Midwestern states into the highly productive farmland that they are today. Overall there have been numerous contributions to the success of agriculture and we have not yet seen the last of them. In the years to come agriculture is going to be making much more great leaps forward and all the citizens of the United States are going to reap the benefits.
IMPORATANT RESOURCE MEMBERS OF AGRICULTURE PROFFESIONS
Agriculture Marketing Specialists
There are numerous resources professionals in the agricultural field which producers refer to regularly these resources help pave the way for more advanced and sophisticated ways of producing agricultural goods. If there were not any resources for producers to refer back to, the productivity of agriculture would severely diminish into an inefficient production. These important resources range from books up to highly educated professionals with a high backing of trustworthiness.
The first major important resource in the agricultural professional community is the marketing specialist. Producers in the agricultural field must and do refer to marketing specialists to help the producer plan when to sell their cash commodities. There gets to be a lot of skill involved in penciling out the exact proper time to sell the grain a little help from an outside source can really make a big difference in how well the producer will reap a profit on their cash commodities.
Some of the strong factors that affect the timing of when to sell grain are weather conditions world wide, world wide supply, world wide quality, next years predicted crop acres, and countries quality standards. “Some of the most challenging management judgments that grain producers face involve decisions about when and how to market grain. At any one point in time, changes in supply and demand factors and subsequent price trends are difficult to predict. This uncertainty is inherent in the process of determining grain prices, making effective management of price risk and major challenge for grain marketers.” (O’Brian, 2000) These grain marketing specialists can be found at any large elevator or even through private hire in large cities. If preferred a farmer can hire a marketer to sell his grain at anytime without the farmer’s consent. These specialists have years of experience and success to be able to predict the flow of the Chicago Board of Trade and the Minneapolis Grain Exchange.
The biggest resource that goes unnoticed is the use of operator’s manuals along side the farm’s equipment. Referring back to the operator’s manual from time to time is necessary with all farming equipment this is because farm equipment needs constant adjustment. Setting the equipment can be very difficult when the equipment is new or has never been adjusted before included in the operators manual is charts and graphs to help assure there is proper adjusting taking place to help have the highest quality crop being produced. Careful study of the operator’s manual before the operation of the machine should occur; this helps to ensure that the operator has a full understanding of how the machine operates and the key components to keeping the machine’s efficiency at the highest possible level. The operator’s manual also helps to troubleshoot problems with the operation of the machine inside of the operators manual is a trouble shooting index that lists step by step instructions for order of operations to find out the source of a problem that a specific machine may have. The operator’s manual is the bible for effective machine operation and field efficiency.
People involved in agricultural professions will have constant feedback from research professionals such as agricultural professors. Producers of the agricultural field review feedback from these agricultural professionals who have published their findings in newspapers and magazines. There are countless operating procedures and growing techniques being used in the agricultural field today, reviewing the published works of professionals helps farmers analyze what is the best way for them to operate. This crucial information helps weed out the scams that certain companies are trying to sell. New tactics and machines in the agricultural community undergo constant examination by agricultural professionals then the feedback of its performance soon gets around to all producers who are considering purchasing it by via internet or published works.
When producers are preparing the land for the next year’s crop, producers are in close contact with soil analyzers; these are people who come out and take soil samples from the producers field and have the samples analyzed. Once the soil samples have been taken they are taken back to a lab for analysis of nutrients, especially for nitrogen phosphorous and potassium which are the three main important nutrients. They will also analyze the soil for the main micro nutrients needed for the certain crop. Once the soil analyzers have analyzed the soil for how many pounds of each nutrient is in the soil, they make recommendations for how much fertilizer should be applied and what type of fertilizer should be applied. They publish their findings into reports and send them onto the producer. The farmer then takes these reports to make the proper purchases of fertilizer he or she thinks is needed for the field.
Professional soil analyzers can be found at large chemical and fertilizer plants. Most of professional soil analyzers play a dual role as either an agronomist or fertilizer salesmen. “Soil testing for agronomic crop production is a reliable, scientifically based method for predicting crop responses to nutrient applications. Establishment of critical levels and nutrient recommendations depends on having an extensive research program and accompanying data base” (Thom, 2007, pg. 1).
Newspapers and Magazines
Sometimes producers want to read up on the new modern technology and seed varieties. They do this by reading the country trial results published by the Minnesota Extension Service every year. The Minnesota Extension Service puts on trials that test certain varieties of the crops produced in that area. When these trials are done the crops are grown according to the farmer’s standards this means that these trials are preformed in a realistic manner and there are no benefits to this test field then the actual fields growing around it. Producers want to know exactly how much better a variety is from one to another this would be very had to determine if the field was given an outrageous amount of fertilizer or extreme planting rate.
These reports sometimes are done on new modern equipment and its performance in the field. This is commonly done on the modern tillage equipment that is being manufactured today such as conservation tillage. “Conservation Tillage is defined as tillage systems that leave at least 30% residue cover on the soil surface after planting. Reduced tillage systems have benefits other than soil conservation, such as increased water infiltration, increased or sustained organic matter content, increased water-holding capacity, and continued long-term productivity of the soil. They also require less capital investment in equipment and fewer field passes, which reduces the amount of labor and fuel used.” (DeJong-Hughes, 2008) Reports like this are used widely by farmers when they are considering taking big steps in there production operation.
There is still a lot of resourcing through newspapers and magazines such as the “AgWeek” and “Green Sheet.” These are great publications that draw in producers because they also list classifieds of equipment. The publications in these newspapers and magazines are greatly widespread and range everything from marketing techniques to seeding rates. Producers read these articles that are mainly written by agricultural professors or agricultural professionals and in turn use this information to improve their production operation and maximize efficiency. There are a lot of factors that play out in a production operation that regulate if the new equipment or producing equipment matter. Newspaper articles are put out to help illuminate the factor that benefit the producers and also the ones that will bottle neck the current operation in use.
The biggest and most popular reference for all agricultural producers is the use of agronomists to help them understand any problems that are occurring in their fields. “Agronomists are eager to provide regular field checks and are trained to advise their customers on the best solutions for either existing or future pest problems. Their goal is to ensure producers that they grow the best crop, with the best possible economics.” (Wilco, 2008) Producers are always in close contact with agronomist during the production season agronomist assist the producers by scouting their fields checking for weed and diseases. Agronomist are specially trained to look for the most harmful weeds for the crop that is currently growing in that field, they also are constantly checking fields even when they are not the producers own. This is a benefit to producers because when problems are once found in fields in close perimeter of their own it is a short matter of time before the problem spreads into their own field. When producers are getting very busy in the production season sometimes they can get behind on scouting their fields for problems. Agronomists are the biggest lifesaver for producers who are looking to turn an over marginal profit.
Producers of the agriculture field have their day filled with interaction with resource member of the professional community. If it wasn’t for the agriculture professional community the producers would not have the record productivity that occurs today from day to day operations. Overall production agriculture has got to where it is today by several helping hands.
COMMUNICATION SKILLS FOR SUCCESS IN THE AGRICULTURAL FIELD
Basic Communication Skills in Agriculture
When it comes down to requirements to have full capabilities to communicate in the agricultural field there is a lot of unwritten rules laid down by the research professionals. In order to have full communicative skills in the agricultural field the person involved in the agriculture field must fully understand and apply the agricultural discourse to his or her publications and speech. “People in organizations typically spend over 75% of their time in an interpersonal situation; thus it is no surprise to find that at the root of a large number of organizational problems is poor communications. Effective communication is an essential component of organizational success whether it is at the interpersonal, intergroup, organizational, or external levels” (Importance of Effective communication, 2006, pg. 2). If he or she does not do this in their work the people will be tuned out by the rest of the agricultural field. The individual involved in the agriculture field must also be fully aware of the changes in social norms and speech from state to state or county to county. Such as in the North the term used for pulling the leaves off an ear of corn is called husking in the south this act is called shucking but they both mean the same thing. If the peopele was to publish works or give a speech and use the wrong terminology the people would not have the full attention of the audience.
There are many areas within the agricultural field where professionals need strong communication skills, such as when writing up research findings from test plots. In order to write their finding effectively and efficiently they need to make sure and publish their works without any biased information and to keep their works short and too the point. “The staffs of organizations spend more time looking inwards and upwards toward seniors than towards clients. Difficult for change, people tend towards simply following long-established norms of behavior because of an institutional fear of change” (Selby, 2008, pg. 8). They also need to make sure and cite all of their variables in the trials and keep the company names involved in the trials listed in proper order for their results. Creating a proper and well written research plot result works takes lots of time and several drafts. Research professionals writing up these plot results need to make sure and have their works reviewed and studied by others to make sure that it is fully understandable and free from any errors.
Persuasive Skills in Agriculture
Producers in the agricultural field are required to have outstanding persuasive skills in order to be successful in their work. For producers to be able to expand their operation they must be able to persuade other land owners to ether rent or sell their land to them for production. The competition in production agriculture is getting highly competitive; the only way for an individual to get ahead is by their use of persuasion to get the acres they need before they enter the open market. Persuasion is used daily in the operations of production agriculture so much that producers don’t even realize how much they have been using it. They use it to market their products to other producers such as selling livestock and seed. In order to be good at persuading someone in production agriculture to purchase something or to do something different the person doing the persuading must have a clear understanding of what the current new ways farming are being used today in production agriculture and the benefits of the new product.
The ideal member for someone who has outstanding persuasive skills is a company seed salesman. There currently are hundreds of different varieties of seed being used today in production agriculture; seed salesmen must have an exact idea of why producers need to be using their brand of seed instead of the others. In order to be convincing the salesmen must have data to back up their opinions. Without data to back up their opinions producers purchasing will look the other way and find the seed that has proven itself time and time again. This means that salesmen must have a clear understanding of what is expected by producers growing crops today as a bottom line yield. If your varieties do not meet these standards they should not even try to market them in order to build creditability and be recognized as honorable.
Negotiating Skills in Agriculture
Negotiating is some of the best ways to make progress in the agricultural field. Agricultural sometimes it is mandatory to negotiate when expanding or modifying and agricultural production facilities. When purchasing new production equipment the owners need to negotiate a deal to get the attachments or options they want at the price they are able to afford. “Commodity farmers particularly need information and computer skills to keep abreast of government programs and to access and analyze information. Communication skills help farmers negotiate the lowest input costs and work with landlords” (Hansen, 2007, pg. 2).
Use of Technological Language in Agriculture
Producers in the agriculture field have a huge responsibility of knowing and understanding the technology currently being used today on all production facilities. In order to inform other people how the new piece of technology works and how to set it. The manager is fully responsible for understanding everything there is about that piece of equipment. With heavy complex machines it can get to be difficult to explain how the machine operates and how each of its components works together. The individual involved with the day to day operations must know how to take a walk through step by step to get the information across to the next person trying to understand how this machine or equipment operates. It can be a big responsibility being in charge of every piece of technology on an operation. If a person wants to take charge and become the controller of these pieces of modern technology, they have to become strong at multitasking and be able to step into the equipments technical language when conversing with other highly educated professionals on that piece of technology but also be able to step back to the common laborers and fully explain how the machine is going to work and the operation steps needed.
Teamwork Communicating Skills
With there being so many professionals involved in the agricultural field, it is almost certain that they must be able to work together efficiently and understands the point where each other comes from. “Effective communication is crucial in managing work, family and community life. By discussing our feeling with each other, we have the opportunity to sort out confusing situations. When we share our feelings sincerely, we come to realize that everyone has emotions, and that each member of the group may experience them in his or her own way” (Johnson, 2001, pg. 1). If a manager wants to have well trained highly effective worker there needs to be guidelines as to how well they can work together. Such as “poor communication skills are often identified as one of the causes of a breakdown in the business development process. So, the manager must constantly work to improve their communications skills because they are so important for the success of the business venture. This is especially true in farmer lead value-added business projects. By its very nature, farming tends to be a business where one person makes most of the decisions independently of others. So, farmers don’t tend to see the need for communicating. However, in a value-added business project with group decision making, good communication skills are critical.” (AgMRC, 2007, pg. 1)
Deciphering Communicative Skills
The agricultural industry also has a strong need for deciphering problems that arise. Agriculture is a complex industry; it is very common to see reoccurring problems from one of its many branches. If these problems are not fixed the problems will continue to get worse and soon there will be large losses. When problems arise the people in charge need to be able to figure out where they came from and how to fix them in a very timely fashion. Time in the agricultural industry costs large amounts of money because a stopped operation does not pay creating a bottle neck in all of the agricultural operations. Ways that problems can be avoided is by performing preventative maintenance and educating the employees about the things that are needed to be watched out for in the time to come. If a problem is expected to arise the manager and people in charge need to have a plan of attack on how they are going to fix the situation while still keeping the operations running. This leads into the skill of having a strong work ethic and good business sense.
“Agricultural professionals need to know that all businesses decisions have economic consequences. They demonstrate an understanding of marketing by being able to effectively segment the market and target their efforts and activities. They are able to bundle products services in a fashion to add value, control costs and meet customer demands of quality and timeliness. They engage in strategic business planning so that they are able to understand their business strengths, weaknesses, comparative advantages, have identified and set specific business goals, know what changes they need to make to reach their goals and how they will make the necessary changes” (Crane, L.M., 2006, pg 3). Agricultural industries need to set up financial goals and have a backup plan in case things do not go their way. There have always been large amounts of investing in the agriculture field, if there is not a return on your investment there could be trouble ahead. There is not a computer program or financial adviser to tell the manager what to do. People of the agriculture field learn simply by trial and error. Hopefully they will learn from their mistakes and become even more efficient in their tasks.
Risk Management Communication
Production advisors need to have high risk management skills and have a better understanding of how well some strategies work over others. “Weather-related disaster losses combined with declining commodity prices and skyrocketing energy costs are putting farmers in a financial bind” (NFU, 2008, pg 1). In order to have good risk management skills producers need to effectively communicate with the insurance company advisors and other farmers about what needs to be their coverage for insurance and how much money it is going to cost them. In the past there was little amount of risk in the profitability of a production facility but with today’s drastically rising inputs and the lower commodity prices, farmers are now needing a highly educated risk manager who they can work with to set the highest amount of risk they can have for their operation.
The ideal member of someone who contributes all of the skills needed to make it in the agricultural field is a producer, or a loan officer. Producers are the first link of the chain that feeds the thriving agriculture industry they must have excellent communication skills in order to make it. They must communicate with each other since they are employers and the ones putting their finances on the line. If they were not communicating with others they would be set back from everyone else. The more minds that are put together the better the information can be processed. A loan officer also can be considered an ideal member because the loan officer must deal with the producers and make sure that there is revenue coming through to meet their expenses. They also must be giving out the right advice to producers and only be handing out the money that they will need to make it by. Overall if an individual does not contain strong communication skills he or she will struggle in the agricultural field. The agricultural field is built on numerous people putting their minds together as one and coming up with a better answer.
HOW DOES THE AGRICULTURAL APA STYLE COMPARE TO MLA
The Differences Between APA and MLA
There are a lot of differences between today’s writing styles of APA and MLA. The style that is currently being used today in the agriculture field is APA. APA stands for the American Psychological Association, even though the style guide was written by the American Psychological Association it has been adopted into the Agricultural field for standard use. APA is being used today in the agricultural field because it is a widely used easy to follow format for writing formal research papers. Within the agricultural field there are many research publications that are published for the public to read. With the use of the APA style guide it creates a common understanding the papers much easier to follow.
Some of the differences between APA and MLA style guides are the use of parenthetical citations in the text. “When performing a parenthetical citation in the text under the APA style guide the writer uses the author’s name, date of publication, and page number. However when performing a parenthetical citation in the text under the MLA style guide the writer uses only the author’s name and page number” (McConnell, 2007). When the writer sites the author of other published works in APA style they will use the last name and the first initial of the author and list all of the authors who were involved in that publication. With MLA style the writer spells out available names and if more than three authors are listed the writer puts etal at the end of the third author.
“Citing papers in Modern Language Association (MLA) or American Psychological Association (APA) formats depend mostly on the subject you are writing on. Mainly, APA style citations are used to cite writings that have a social science focus: Psychology, Business, the Social Sciences, Economics, Medicine, and Criminal Justice and Law. On the other hand, MLA style citations are used to cite writings that have humanities focus; Literature, Mass Communications, and Media Studies (Walker, 2008, pg. 1).” The simple fact that APA style is used for business makes it more useful for agriculture than MLA. It can also be easily tied together because within the business areas of profession they can closely relate to economics, law, and social science.
“The differences between MLA and APA citation formats are minor. But writing in ether format will ensure that papers are properly cited and the author’s chances of plagiarizing are reduced. There are several websites available, which give detailed requirements for both APA and MLA style formats (Walker, 2008, pg. 1).” If a common ground of writing style is not followed within a professional area it would be extra difficult to understand and the published works would not look alike. This would create confusion between readings and cause confusion for professionals studying in the field. Overall if people don’t follow a common method of writing style the efficiency of research would be greatly reduced and a common ground would not be found.
The agricultural field is filled with great opportunities and people must reach out and claim their stake. Some of the most rewarding carriers are within the agricultural field and the opportunities are only getting better by the day. In the near future the agriculture field will grow bigger than ever before with some of the biggest advancements in the field still to come. The most important reason for the growing of agriculture is the high quality workers needed to fill the positions in the labor force. Agriculture is the basics of all human life and it will be he until the end of time.
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